If you've got any wool or wool blends in your closet, the flat brown clothes moth may be lurking. Because they favor the darkness, these pests are harder to detect than their larger, light-loving counterparts. And once you do find and dispose of them, the threat is not over. It's their larvae that do the most damage to our clothes.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
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Things you need
- Lightweight Vacuum Cleaners
- Plastic Storage Drawers
- Stain Removers
Keep in mind that the clothes moth mainly fancies wool but has been known to munch, from time to time, on fur, cashmere and sometimes silk. You may find these materials as trims, woven fabrics and, of course, as sweaters, socks, gloves and boot linings.
Spot-clean any food stains from garments, as they may attract moths. Spray perfume or cologne on your skin or cotton garments, but avoid misting wool garments and knits.
Vacuum your home and closets regularly. Dispose of the bag's contents immediately - they may contain moth eggs and larvae.
Dry-clean your moth-friendly clothes regularly to kill any new egg deposits. Place your wool accessories in airtight drawers or containers that include moth balls, cedar blocks or herbal sachets.
Store winter knits in a sturdy cedar chest, if at all possible. The oil from the wood is an effective moth repellent, and many manufacturers offer a guarantee against moth damage.
Hang cedar blocks from hangers that hold questionable garments, or switch to cedar hangers. Check your local home and garden store for moth repellents that you can spray directly on hanging clothes.
Tips and warnings
- Herbs, including lavender and rosemary, offer some protection against the clothes moth. Replace sachets every few months or reactivate with drops of essential oils.
- Put new cedar blocks or moth balls in your closet and drawers at the beginning of each winter season.
- Read the list of active ingredients in moth balls and moth repellents in spray form. The chemicals can be malodorous and could cause adverse skin reactions.
- If you notice bald patches in your carpet, it could be the work of moths or the carpet beetle. Check with an exterminator before the problem spreads and the population increases.